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Emira plants for the years ahead

Eco-friendly, green and relaxing – trees and plants benefit everyone. They bring more biodiversity to big cities, reduce CO2 emissions, feed people and attract pollinators that are vital for food security and environmental sustainability.
Emira plants for the years ahead

Emira Property Fund (JSE: EMI), the diversified, balanced REIT with a track record of delivering stability and sustainability through different cycles, keeps improving its surroundings for the good of its stakeholders, including serving communities. To make a greater positive impact on the environment, Emira strategically partners with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Trees for Africa.

By creating a sustainable environment of indigenous plant life, Emira provides a better overall experience for tenants and visitors at its properties, while also enhancing nearby communities. The company plants fruit and shade trees, as well as spekboom (Portulacaria afra), at its properties, blending real estate with nature and demonstrating ecological responsibility.

As an indigenous succulent, spekboom is a hardy xeriscaping plant that is drought-tolerant, 670 spekbooms have been planted at 26 of Emira’s properties across South Africa, bringing nature closer to people, making cities greener and the air cleaner, and enhancing biodiversity. Significantly, spekboom contributes to cleaner air by directly catching pollution with leaves. This resilient plant has an exceptional capacity to offset carbon emissions and helps fight climate change and air pollution by acting like a carbon sponge and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Continuing its annual tradition, Emira has again partnered with Food & Trees for Africa to offset its operational carbon emissions for company travel, staff commute and paper consumption. In 2023, Emira donated 150 fruit trees and indigenous shade trees of different varieties through the Trees for All programme. The trees were planted at Watercrest Primary School, Cedar High School and Sivile Primary School, all in the Western Cape. During their 40-year growth period, these 150 trees will offset 55,35 tonnes of CO2 and provide a healthier environment.

Ulana van Biljon, chief operating officer of Emira
Ulana van Biljon, chief operating officer of Emira

Ulana van Biljon, chief operating officer of Emira, says: “Emira is dedicated to sustainable business. We focus on environmental protection and addressing our clients' needs, many of whom expect their business partners to consistently act responsibly in response to present-day challenges, such as renewable energy, water security, clean air and urban biodiversity conservation. Our local efforts, such as planting trees in communities and growing spekboom around our properties, demonstrate that we believe that even the smallest initiative is meaningful. We promote this attitude to encourage others to care for our shared home, Planet Earth.”

Planting is one of the various ways that Emira makes a positive contribution to biodiversity. Since 2020, it has installed 16 beehives at eight of its properties in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to address the decline of global bee populations, which contribute so much to society, as well as the biodiversity at its properties.

Additionally, Emira undertakes recycling for its tenants and shoppers, uses solar energy from rooftop installations, harvests rainwater, applies various energy- and water-saving initiatives, plants community gardens, and composts plant matter.

“As biodiversity is a crucial part of healthy ecosystems, protecting it is inextricably linked to the well-being of people and communities. Whether or not people appreciate it, healthy ecosystems need to co-exist with the world of business, the natural world provides economic support and forms the country’s ecological infrastructure, offering clean air, water, arable land and food for its people,” says Van Biljon.

16 Jan 2024 13:04